Ubergizmo_Xperia_Z2_frontsideSony Xperia Z2 Tablet is the successor to Sony Xperia Z Tablet (announced in February 2013, available in the U.S. in May 2013) and Sony Xperia S (released September 2012). The company debut the Z2 this February, hailing it as “the slimmest, lightweight waterproof tablet.” By then, Apple’s iPad Air had already been in the market for a few months (and speculations about the lighter, thinner iPad Air 2 is now circulating in the air, so to speak).

Every mobile tablet invariably gets compared to the latest iPad (for the present, that’s the iPad Air), still considered by many to be the reigning champion. But I think it’s worth considering the Z2 as a slightly different specimen, more a multimedia slate than a work-and-play tablet.

You can still retrieve emails, sync up calendars, play games, and stream YouTube clips on the Z2, as you could on most mobile devices. However, the device’s widescreen format, high-contrast TRILUMINOS HD display, and S-Forge Surround Sound betray its desire to be a miniature movie screen, a handheld theater, if you will. So, instead of comparing the Z2 to the iPad feature by feature, I chose to assess the Z2 based on how well it does what it aims to do.

Context

As a household name in multimedia and entertainment hardware, Sony must know its slim tablet has to satisfy hardcore fans: those who want to watch full-length movies on a plane, surf Facebook from a WiFi-enabled café for hours, and tap their feet to a playlist that stretches on for 100s of tracks. So I’m putting myself in such a user’s place as I put the Z2 through its paces.

I also happen to dabble in digital art (a semi-serious sketcher). When used with a stylus, a tablet is the ideal device for to draw digitally. So I promptly downloaded Autodesk SketchBook Xpress (a free painting and drawing app) on the Z2 for a test drive (test draw, to be precise). Even though people don’t use their tablet as the primary photo-snapping device, Sony touts the Z2’s 8.1 megapixel camera with preloaded effects as one of its attractions, so I’m playing shutterbug with it.

In a phone call with me, Sony’s Xperia brand marketing manager Stephen Sneeden singled out specifically the device’s waterproofing technology as a remarkable innovation. I’m not planning to go as far as watching a movie on the Z2 as I soak in the bathtub (as depicted in the Sony’s promotional video), but I do intend to do a dunk test. I’ll save it as the last thing I review, in case the device goes into shock from it.

Filed in Reviews >Tablets. Read more about Sony, Sony Reviews and XPERIA Z2 Tablet.

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